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Various Colombian breads wit on a blue plate atop a granite counter, adjacent a cup of coffee
Bonito breakfast from La Casa Del Pandebono
Tommy Ranucci/Eater

Where to Eat Colombian Food in East Boston

From pandebono to bandeja paisa, these are the best spots for Colombian food in the neighborhood

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Bonito breakfast from La Casa Del Pandebono
| Tommy Ranucci/Eater

Driving east on the Mass Pike and passing through the Ted Williams Tunnel will bring you to East Boston, where you’ll find a vibrant Colombian community with roots in Bogotá, Medellín, and a small mountain town called Don Matías. (Colombians in Eastie joke that there are more people from Don Matías living in Boston than in Don Matías itself.)

Motivations for leaving Colombia and relocating to East Boston differed from person to person — some were fleeing the cartel violence that overwhelmed parts of Colombia at the time, while others left for religious reasons, for example. Decades later, East Boston is home to Boston’s Little Colombia, and as such some of the best food in the entire city.

Head to Eastie for pandebono (Colombian cheese bread) and to watch some fútbol while sipping café con leche, and be sure to stop at these eight restaurants when you do.

Please note that a number of Boston restaurants have resumed dine-in service, and the level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in the area, please visit the Massachusetts coronavirus website.

Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Melodias Restaurant

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Melodias Restaurant is a short walk from the Orient Heights MBTA station. The restaurant, which has an unassuming storefront and a clear view of Logan Airport, reels customers in with the tantalizing smell of tostones (green plantains) and yuca frita (fried yucca). Smother the fried bites with hogao, a kind of Colombian salsa made with tomatoes and onions. Melodias also offers some of the best seafood in Eastie. Save room for the camarones al ajillo — shrimp sautéed in an unforgettably garlicky sauce.

Melodias Restaurant is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

La Chiva Restaurant

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La Chiva is the place to go after a long day of travel, or if you’re simply in the mood for some late night munchies. Perro caliente Colombiano — or, a Colombian hot dog — is the perfect drunk food. Homemade pineapple sauce, crispy potato chips, coleslaw, egg, bacon, ketchup, queso, and mayo are all piled on top of a beef hot dog. It is a lot; it is perfect.

La Chiva Restaurant is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

La Casa Del Pandebono

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La Casa Del Pandebono — which takes its name from Colombian cheese bread, pandebono — features specialties from Colombia, as well as El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela. Don’t miss out on the bonito, which comes with pandebono, buñuelitos (a sort of fried dough fritter), an egg and chorizo scramble, homemade cheese, and fresh avocado.

La Casa Del Pandebono is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via GrubHub, UberEats, and Seamless.

El Peñol

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Bandeja paisa is a traditional Colombian dish made with fried eggs, chicharron, steak, plantains, arepa, morcilla (blood sausage), rice, beans, and avocado, and it stars at El Peñol. To break up the starchy, meaty flavors of bandeja paisa, try one of El Peñol’s fresh juices, with flavors such as guanábana (soursop) and maracuyá (passionfruit).

El Peñol is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via DoorDash and UberEats.

A large plate of various meats and starches from El Peñol, a Colombian restaurant in East Boston
Bandeja paisa is a traditional dish in Colombia
El Peñol/Official Website

La Abundancia Bakery & Restaurant

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La Abundancia Bakery & Restaurant masters the art of quick eats without subbing quality for speed. With a focus on breakfast, this bakery and restaurant hybrid makes a killer version of huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs). Always served with homemade arepas and queso, these scrambled eggs are whipped up to order with fresh peppers, onions, and salsa thrown into the mix. For the offal lovers out there: Try La Abundancia’s higado encebollado, which is braised beef liver served with sautéed onions, rice and beans, and is ridiculous.

La Abundancia Bakery is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via GrubHub and Seamless.

Mi Rancho

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Mi Rancho features a different sopa (soup) special for every day of the week. If you’re lucky enough to stop by on a Thursday, you’ll have the pleasure of slurping down ajiaco, a rich chicken and potato soup traditionally found in bars all over Bogotá. Mi Rancho uses an herb found in Colombia called guascas, which gives the dish its signature flavor. Mondongo is served on Saturdays. Beef tripe is cooked for hours with fresh root vegetables, peppers, and spices. All of Mi Rancho’s soups come with arepas con queso, which are made fresh in house.

Mi Rancho is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via Ubereats.

La Sultana Bakery

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Coffee in Colombia is a way of life, and that is reflected at La Sultana Bakery, especially with its excellent take on café con leche. Famous for their fresh baked pastries, breads, and empanadas, La Sultana has been a staple in the East Boston community for years. Stop in to sample a buñuelo (a fritter typically made with cassava flour and small curd white cheese), which is like a Colombian doughnut. And definitely dip the buñuelo in your café con leche. Don’t stop at coffee and doughnuts — La Sultana makes some of the best homemade empanadas and arepas in the neighborhood.

La Sultana Bakery is open for takeout and catering services.

El Rinconcito Colombiano

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Freshly-fried empanadas are a touchstone of the street food culture in Colombia. Arguably the best empanadas in Eastie, El Rinconcito serves up this Colombian classic on a greasy paper napkin, sans frills. Whether it’s chicken, plantain, beef, or cheese, the empanadas will leave you stuffed. Order an empanada or pan de queso — a roll made with tapioca flour and grated cheese that is typical in Colombia — to go, and enjoy it walking down the East Boston Greenway or along the harbor, which are both just a couple of blocks away.

El Rinconcito is open for indoor dining and takeout.

Melodias Restaurant

Melodias Restaurant is a short walk from the Orient Heights MBTA station. The restaurant, which has an unassuming storefront and a clear view of Logan Airport, reels customers in with the tantalizing smell of tostones (green plantains) and yuca frita (fried yucca). Smother the fried bites with hogao, a kind of Colombian salsa made with tomatoes and onions. Melodias also offers some of the best seafood in Eastie. Save room for the camarones al ajillo — shrimp sautéed in an unforgettably garlicky sauce.

Melodias Restaurant is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

La Chiva Restaurant

La Chiva is the place to go after a long day of travel, or if you’re simply in the mood for some late night munchies. Perro caliente Colombiano — or, a Colombian hot dog — is the perfect drunk food. Homemade pineapple sauce, crispy potato chips, coleslaw, egg, bacon, ketchup, queso, and mayo are all piled on top of a beef hot dog. It is a lot; it is perfect.

La Chiva Restaurant is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery.

La Casa Del Pandebono

La Casa Del Pandebono — which takes its name from Colombian cheese bread, pandebono — features specialties from Colombia, as well as El Salvador, Mexico, and Venezuela. Don’t miss out on the bonito, which comes with pandebono, buñuelitos (a sort of fried dough fritter), an egg and chorizo scramble, homemade cheese, and fresh avocado.

La Casa Del Pandebono is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via GrubHub, UberEats, and Seamless.

El Peñol

A large plate of various meats and starches from El Peñol, a Colombian restaurant in East Boston
Bandeja paisa is a traditional dish in Colombia
El Peñol/Official Website

Bandeja paisa is a traditional Colombian dish made with fried eggs, chicharron, steak, plantains, arepa, morcilla (blood sausage), rice, beans, and avocado, and it stars at El Peñol. To break up the starchy, meaty flavors of bandeja paisa, try one of El Peñol’s fresh juices, with flavors such as guanábana (soursop) and maracuyá (passionfruit).

El Peñol is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via DoorDash and UberEats.

A large plate of various meats and starches from El Peñol, a Colombian restaurant in East Boston
Bandeja paisa is a traditional dish in Colombia
El Peñol/Official Website

La Abundancia Bakery & Restaurant

La Abundancia Bakery & Restaurant masters the art of quick eats without subbing quality for speed. With a focus on breakfast, this bakery and restaurant hybrid makes a killer version of huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs). Always served with homemade arepas and queso, these scrambled eggs are whipped up to order with fresh peppers, onions, and salsa thrown into the mix. For the offal lovers out there: Try La Abundancia’s higado encebollado, which is braised beef liver served with sautéed onions, rice and beans, and is ridiculous.

La Abundancia Bakery is open indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via GrubHub and Seamless.

Mi Rancho

Mi Rancho features a different sopa (soup) special for every day of the week. If you’re lucky enough to stop by on a Thursday, you’ll have the pleasure of slurping down ajiaco, a rich chicken and potato soup traditionally found in bars all over Bogotá. Mi Rancho uses an herb found in Colombia called guascas, which gives the dish its signature flavor. Mondongo is served on Saturdays. Beef tripe is cooked for hours with fresh root vegetables, peppers, and spices. All of Mi Rancho’s soups come with arepas con queso, which are made fresh in house.

Mi Rancho is open for indoor dining, takeout, and delivery via Ubereats.

La Sultana Bakery

Coffee in Colombia is a way of life, and that is reflected at La Sultana Bakery, especially with its excellent take on café con leche. Famous for their fresh baked pastries, breads, and empanadas, La Sultana has been a staple in the East Boston community for years. Stop in to sample a buñuelo (a fritter typically made with cassava flour and small curd white cheese), which is like a Colombian doughnut. And definitely dip the buñuelo in your café con leche. Don’t stop at coffee and doughnuts — La Sultana makes some of the best homemade empanadas and arepas in the neighborhood.

La Sultana Bakery is open for takeout and catering services.

El Rinconcito Colombiano

Freshly-fried empanadas are a touchstone of the street food culture in Colombia. Arguably the best empanadas in Eastie, El Rinconcito serves up this Colombian classic on a greasy paper napkin, sans frills. Whether it’s chicken, plantain, beef, or cheese, the empanadas will leave you stuffed. Order an empanada or pan de queso — a roll made with tapioca flour and grated cheese that is typical in Colombia — to go, and enjoy it walking down the East Boston Greenway or along the harbor, which are both just a couple of blocks away.

El Rinconcito is open for indoor dining and takeout.

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